Leeds Counsellors For Addictions | Local Drug & Alcohol Support

Our Leeds based Recovery Counsellors are specifically trained in addictions, substance misuse disorder (SUD's) and alcohol use disorders (AUD's). Our counselling team are passionate about providing authentic, self-empowering help and support to alcohol and drug users. We also deal with gambling addiction, phone addiction and any other addictive behaviours.

Suzie Shenderey | Addictions Counsellor | MBBS, Cert Hyp CS, BACP

Leeds Addictions Counsellor Suzy Shender

Suzie originally trained as a medical doctor and worked as a psychiatrist with a specialist interest in addictions, and used to work at Leeds Addiction Unit.


Suzie has experience of working with a wide range of issues from anxiety and depression to alcoholism and gambling addiction. "I consider myself to be a holistic therapist and I have a particular interest in the mind-body connection. My experience of working as a doctor means that I have a good understanding of the working of the human body, drug treatments and ethics.


The main ethos of my practice is person-centred and I have experience of working with solution-focused therapy and motivational interviewing. I am also a trained mindfulness practitioner with experience of teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Programmes.


When working with clients I am able to use a wide range of therapeutic techniques and tailor my approach to the individual".


Suzie is also a member of the National Hypnotherapy Society and one of their Ambassadors. She also works as a tutor and case study marker for Chrysalis Courses UK.

Mark Franklin | Addictions Practitioner| S.A.C Dip

Mark is Start Recovery's founder and owner. Originally from a music background, Mark spent the late 80's, 90's and 00's as a DJ, producer and artist. 

"I was burnt out by the early 2000s and by 2010 it had become clear that I needed help. I had already lost my job as a Music Buyer due to being drunk and disorderly at an important industry event. I still managed to function in a new role managing products, distribution and retail at a large American corporate company based in Pinewood Studios. It should have been a dream job for me but I was starting to get in trouble there from my drinking too. 


Redundancy then sent me into a spiral of drinking, then a Re-hab for a month, then I was back drinking again a few months after that. I found that I was stuck in that cycle for a couple of years - trying to stop, starting again, with my self-esteem, anxiety and general mental health getting worse and worse.


I finally managed to get sober after a 3-month program which was at a drug and alcohol charity in Fulham. It was part of a forward-thinking pilot scheme that unfortunately never got rolled out. (I was soon to learn the good and the bad politics of the third sector charity industry)! It was here that I developed a real passion for learning and an understanding of addictions and addictive tendancies.


I went on to volunteer at the charity in Ealing where I joined the DIP team (Drug Intervention Program) and enrolled at college to study drug and alcohol counselling. I moved back to Leeds with my family where I continued to work for drug and alcohol services in Yorkshire and I continued to study and  I spent time working in a Re-hab and on a detox ward. I also worked on psychiatric wards mainly with drug-induced psychosis patients and in secure units. In 2015 I set up Start Recovery and in 2020 Start Recovery won an award for best Counselling Services in Leeds and West Yorkshire. 

I would say most of my work is integretive. I utilise REBT, mindfulness, breathwork and deliver the latest neuroscientific evidence-based information to the client. I continue to learn and experiment bringing different approaches into my work. I use polyvagal techniques and exercises to help bring clients to a safe, sustained, self-regulated place and I try to pass on helpful tools to my clients and colleagues that are necessary to build sustained recovery. 

Paul Woodhouse | Addiction Therapist | Dip Psychotherapeutic Counselling, BACP, UKCP

Paul brings nearly a decade of experience of working with substance misuse and people with addictive behaviours.

Pauls approach is integretaive and utilises Person Centered therapies, CBT, Transactional Analysis and Existential Therapy.

"Everbody comes to counselling for different reasons, but when working with alcohol, substances, or gambling, often people have reached the point that they either want to modify or stop. 


To tackle the challenges we endure on a day-to-day basis, it’s essential to build a good psychological foundation and increase our understanding of our destructive learned behaviours.


I will help you identify your trigger points and work through any cravings, urges or thoughts in order to help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. Without a balanced or sober lifestyle, our bodies and minds become less resilient and change can be much harder.

My approach is simple – be consistent and things will change for you. Work with me if you want to create healthier habits or behaviours and relinquish old beliefs that have weighed you down.

I can show you the strategies to move forward!

I specialise in behavioural change, motivation, addiction, depression and anxiety. Through self-reflection, you will realise that the issues you are experiencing are linked to your core beliefs about yourself. These beliefs control you... for now!".